Here is some useful information and tips for newcomers to Barcelona – the metro in Barcelona, tickets and operating hours! Barcelona’s modern public transport system will take you from its beaches both near and far, to all its important sites and neighbourhoods.
Having lived and visited several of Europe’s major cities, I am familiar with that problem we have all faced before – standing in front of a ticketing machine in bustling station, pressing an unresponsive screen, and wondering which ticket to buy while a queue of impatient locals look over your shoulder…. Hopefully this post can make that daunting situation all the more comfortable.
Zone 1 includes Barcelona’s city centre. Whether you are coming to Barcelona for travel, study, or work, this should be sufficient. I personally stick to zone 1, and buy a separate ticket when traveling beyond the boundaries of Zone 1.
The trains for the metro in Barcelona consistently call at stations every 2/3 minutes on week days, and every 10 minutes on week-ends. The estimated calling times are even posted to the second!
From Monday to Thursday, the metro in Barcelona (specifically the L1, L2, L3, L4, L5, L11 lines) starts at 5am and stops at 12 am (supposedly, its a good way to prevent people from going out during the week). On Fridays, the metro in Barcelona runs from 5am to 2am, and on Saturdays they run non-stop!
Be mindful of public and festive holidays: on New Year’s Eve and the eve of June 24th, August 15th, September 9th , the lines run non-stop. On the eve of other holidays, it runs from 5am to 2am. However, on Christmas Eve (December 24th), the metro in Barcelona stops at 11pm.
Currently, single tickets for the metro in Barcelona (TMB system) and for Barcelona Busses cost €1.15 per journey. They’re handy if you’re just dropping by Barcelona as they are cost effective for up to 3 trips. If you’re fortunate enough to be staying longer in Barcelona, then I would urge you to consider the following alternatives:
For more information on TMB’s wide range of ticketing options, please see the Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona website.
The easiest way purchase your respective ticket is at one of the automatic vending machines located in each Barcelona metro station. The vending machines have several language settings, and if you require any help there is an assistant in most stations. Additionally, some tickets can be purchased online. Please, check out .
For more information on purchasing your ticket, check out:
Additionally, ensure that you take one of the metro system maps which you can find near the automatic vending machines. These can also be found online here.
The metro in Barcelona has some unsaid rules that newcomers can easily pick-up:
First of all, the metro in Barcelona has several lifts and escalators. During peak hours, they become very crowded and given how narrow they are, expect to be pushed passed during these crowded periods. So, it is best to keep to your right when on the escalator, so as to leave room for those in a hurry.
Escalators will only take you to higher floors. To go down to a platform, all stations require you to take the staircase. Not a bad way to justify last night’s tapas indulgences…
A great thing about the metro in Barcelona is that you get phone service everywhere (if you have a working phone that is). This is mighty helpful if you get lost and need to find out which station to hop off at.
Last but not least, given the number of people using the metro, PAY ATTENTION to who you are surrounded by and what is going on! Like in any public transportation system, the metro in Barcelona has its share of pickpockets.
Given the number of lines operating, most journeys will require you to change line. This is when your metro map becomes most useful.
Here are a few of Barcelona’s biggest transfer hubs:
Other stations with great connections include: Drassanes for Las Ramblas, Gloriès, and Espanya. All are very good metro stops to then explore from.
The metro in Barcelona is an experience in itself! Hopefully, you now have a method to its madness.